As Americans begin to travel, the hotel industry is coming together to ensure all guests and staff can remain safe and comfortable. Long before COVID-19, hotels were dedicated to cleaning at the highest standards. AHLA launched Safe Stay, an industry-wide, enhanced standard of health and safety protocols to prepare America’s hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees as the economy reopens. Safe Stay was developed with the input of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and under the guidance of an Advisory Council comprised of industry leaders representing all segments of the hotel industry.
“Safe Stay is an industry-wide commitment to our top priority – the health and safety of guests and employees. As we welcome back the traveling public, hotels will be cleaner than ever before,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA. “Hotels have always had rigorous cleaning protocols and standards, but we’re stepping up even more so that employees and guests can feel more confident about the entire hotel experience.”
A recent poll from Morning Consult showed that travel is beginning to resume, but that only 44% of Americans plan to travel in 2020. The poll found that:
- What kind of travel they’re planning: 81% expect to take a day trip and 72% expect to take an overnight vacation via car within the next five months. The overwhelming majority do not expect to take cruises (14%), camper/RV trips (28%), or vacations via plane (32%) in 2020.
- How far they’re traveling: Among those planning a vacation via car, 75% plan to travel two or more hours (40% plan to drive more than four hours, and 35% plan to drive two to four hours).
- Where they’re staying: On their next overnight trip, 43% say they will stay with family or friends, 39% in a hotel, 9% in a short-term rental, and 5% in a camper/RV.
- How long they’re staying: 78% are planning trips of four nights or less.
- Why they’re traveling: 55% plan to travel for a family event, such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, or family reunion; 50% plan to travel for Christmas, 43% for Thanksgiving, 33% for 4th of July, and 30% for Labor Day.
Across the country, travel ground to a halt in March. Hotel occupancy dropped to just 24.5 percent among open hotels nationwide in April, the lowest occupancy for any month on record in the U.S., according to STR. Since then, hotel occupancy has continued to tick up slowly, reaching 43.9 percent nationwide on June 20, but still far below the 74.5 percent occupancy at this time last year.
Safe Stay represents the top priority for the industry, the health and safety of guests and employees. To help hotels train their associates to safely welcome back guests, AHLA released the COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels, an online course developed in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) which highlights industry guidelines endorsed by all major hotel brands to show staff how to provide guests with the highest level of cleanliness and safety. The 15-minute course is available in English or Spanish and employees who successfully complete the course and brief assessment receive a certificate.